Joining us for the 14th edition of the Off The Record Mix Series we have Lyon-based digger, DJ and SOL Discos affiliate Waxist.
Having initially started out collecting reggae records as a teen, Waxist has since become something of an encyclopedic figurehead for all things disco, soul, Latin, funk, boogie and tropical oriented.
As a DJ, Waxist has become well known for his eclectic sets, in which he effortlessly flits between rare and obscure gems and well-known classics and edits. Over the years he has been asked to spin alongside everyone from Sadar Bahar and John Morales to Jeremy Underground, San Proper and Rahaan.
Waxist is often called upon when it comes to piecing together special reissue projects or edits, often with the legendary French label Favorite Recordings and its sub-label SOL Discos. His most recent edit landed mere days ago via Australian label Isle Of Jura, where he added his magical touch to The Pearls’ early ’80s reggae-disco-rap masterpiece ‘On And On’.
True to form, Waxist’s mix recording below features an incredible selection of jazz, modern soul, funk and gospel treasures. It’s a really special trip. Be sure to check out the interview below as well. Enjoy!
Hey Julien, thanks for contributing towards our Off The Record Mix Series. Can you tell us about your recording and what inspired you with the track selection…
Thanks for inviting me to record a mix for the series! To answer your question, the mix I recorded was done in the middle of a move to a new house, so it was done in a hectic & messy atmosphere. I proceeded the same way I am used to do : after selecting a bunch of records, I recorded straight away as a “one-shot” mix. So it’s kind of like a live mix, without too much work behind it. I used two turntables & my E&S 400 to record it.
About inspiration, well, I tried to do a mix that is not on the “dance side” of things… It’s really about Jazz, Jazz Funk, Modern Soul steppers etc. not too high in BPMs. This is really representative to what I’ve been listening to, at home, during the lockdown : not playing out in clubs has made me rediscovering records from my collection that I don’t really play out & that are more filled as “chilling” at home.
For those people out there who may not be aware of your own productions, how would you describe your style?
I don’t really describe myself as a producer, I would say I am more of a DJ / record collector with a passion for good soulful music. The little “production” I happen to do is made of simple edits which are mostly done for deejaying purpose. I am trying to respect as much as possible the original material & music, not adding external elements like beats & stuff. On the other hand, I am involved in reissuing music with different labels.
Can you tell us a bit about the music scene over the in Lyon?
The music scene here in Lyon is very lively & it has been this way for some years now. At the same time, the city is not so big so it kind of look like a village in a scene. To me, it makes the scene positive & benevolent – there is not much competition between djs, promoters or venues if you compare to other bigger cities like Paris. And we do have the best food & wines here 🙂
There are things for everyone tastes, but maybe we miss a couple more venues of different formats to make it even better.
Are there any exciting new talents coming out of Lyon, or indeed the rest of France, that you feel we ought to keep an eye on?
There is someone who I always push when I have an occasion. He’s not really a “new” talent as he’s been mixing & collecting for quite a long time now : it’s my friend Alex aka Roger Thornhill with who we have the Easing party in Lyon, along with our 3rd man Greg S.
Alex / Roger Thornhill is one of the best DJs I know for real, on the technic but also for the selection. He’s able to drop some bombs you never heard of or timeless classics, effortless & smoothly… And he’s one of the humblest cats I know.
What are your favourite record labels out there at the moment?
I really love the label run by my NZ friend Jeremy Morris “Rain & Shine”. He has been putting out excellent reissues of rare records. Bakatcha from the UK, for the same reasons. I also love Family Groove from the US, as they manage to unearth some great previously unreleased things from back in the day.
Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with SOL Discos and if there are any exciting releases coming soon that we can look forward to…
SOL Discos is a sub-label of Favorite Recordings, a label that is based in Paris & run by Pascal Rioux aka Charles Maurice. After a couple reissue collaborations, he proposed me to create SOL Discos & run it together. Basically, I do take care of it by thinking of potential projects, taking care of licensing the music by researching the artists / producers etc.
We just released the second volume of our compilation series “Message In Our Music”, which focused on rare Modern Soul productions from the 70’s / early 80’s. We managed to license some crazy rare tunes, so I am really happy of the results, and even happier to hear good feedbacks about it from music lovers. I am starting to work on volume 3 at the moment but cannot say a lot about it so far.
2020 has been quite an extraordinary year so far. How has life been for you during the pandemic?
2020 has been quite special indeed. Life has changed without really changing in a sense : I’ve always kept a ‘normal’ day job during week time. Clubbing, deejaying & travelling has stopped during the pandemic – so that has brought me to focus on family first (I have 2 young children), and day job.
I’ve been really missing deejaying but I take it easy as it’s not my 1st income source, contrary to most of my friends on the scene for who the period has been really more difficult to handle (and is still, as venues haven’t really opened again yet in France).
I am not in a hurry to go back to clubs as long as the situation remains dangerous with the pandemic – I just hope the situation gets better for everyone asap.
What have you been listening to recently at home in these times?
As I said, as I didn’t go record shopping since the start of the pandemic here, I have really been through records of my collection again. I rediscovered albums or 45s I haven’t listened to in years, which I really appreciated. Really the jazz / jazz funk section from my collection has been played a lot during these past few months, Blue Note things, Bobbi Humphrey etc. I’ve been playing a lot the Mal Waldron LP that was reissued by Libreville Records here in France. Also, I have been listening a lot to the forthcoming new album of Mr President (aka Patchworks) on Favorite Recordings. There are some bangers in there!